Browsing by Subject "intellectual property rights"

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  • Shekera, Victor (2018)
    The article discusses whether imposition of a geo-blocking restriction by copyright owners in licensing agreements unduly restricts competition between online content distributors in non-licensed territory, especially in cases where dissemination of digital content is already precluded by copyright law. The article starts with a discussion of geo-blocking from the perspective of policy clashes ‒ that is, clashes between fundamental freedom, competition law and copyright law ‒ it then turns to competition law analysis of absolute territorial protection, that is, restrictions of active and passive sales. The article further distinguishes online content distribution from distribution of tangible goods by reference to CJEU case law before moving on to discuss the distinctive nature of digital content distribution and the inapplicability of the exhaustion of rights principle. Furthermore, discussion of the restriction on competition in non-licensed territories for online content distributors leads to the conclusion, with a finding that geo-blocking does not restrict competition in non-licensed territories, except in cases where copyright protection is used to facilitate absolute territorial protection or where the copyright owner exploits the market by extracting the highest possible remuneration due to market segregation.
  • Laitinen, Klas (2010)
    The reification and strengthening of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has led to an emergent and interesting counter-movement. Central research questions: (1) how IPRs manifest hegemony in a neo-Gramscian framework, (2) creating a conceptual framework to study counter-hegemonic potential of new social movements or organizations, and finally (3) using the conceptual criterion created to study the Pirate Party (PP) of Sweden. Incorporating new social movement theory with a neo-Gramscian framework explains movement of organic intellectuals from political parties to new social movements. Further, it explains the emergence of a counter-movement to IPRs. Combining the neo-Gramscian theories of Cox and Gill with new social movement theory, allows for a pertinent analysis of hegemony and the movement of IPRs towards core hegemony and their subsequent reification during the last few decades. We find that IPRs manifest hegemony. The conceptual framework created contains five central criteria for analysing a movement: (1) Aims of the movement, (2) Participation, (3) Resources and Financing, (4) Intellectual base of the movement, and (5) Compatibility with a global progressive political party. The case study of the PP shows it has (1) counter-hegemonic aims, through the linkage of IPRs to hegemony. The party has successfully politicized and reopened the contestation of IPRs within Sweden.(2) Participation within previously apathetic social groups has increased. The party is now the second largest party in Sweden by membership. (4) The intellectual base of the Piracy movement is evident, both inside and outside the party. However, no evidence of alliance building was found. (3) Resources and financing are precarious, the party is financed through contributions and personal loans of key personnel and there have been internal strife related to finances. Core activists of the party are unlikely to defect, rather without success, a return to apathy is likely. (5) No signs of alignment with a progressive global movement are evident within the PP. Therefore, this study is inconclusive, the party does not expressly aim for counter-hegemony but realization of its main goals would lead to a weakening of hegemony. The party has had modest success, gaining two seats in the EU Parliament. The parliamentary elections in Sweden 2010 may give a clearer indication of the long-term potential of the party. The hegemony of knowledge goods is evident today, thus a counter-movement has emerged to contest it.
  • Mustonen, Mikko (2001)
    Essay 1: The future compatibility of a product can be important to a buyer. With IT products, switching costs may in the worst cases well exceed the purchasing price. We develop a model in which rational buyers value products by their expected levels of future compatibility, using suppliers' R&D budget levels as signals. Suppliers compete by investing in R&D to increase compatibility. In all the analysed market scenarios R&D investment levels fall short of the social optimum. Welfare closest to optimum is reached when suppliers collude in R&D but compete in product markets. Essay 2: Suppliers invest strategically in order to develop the future compatibility of products whereas buyers value the products in terms of the expected levels of future compatibility. One supplier has an information disadvantage of being uncertain of the competitor's unit cost. He tries to infer it from the other supplier's observed level of compatibility R&D investment. We show that the duopoly game satisfies the requirements for a unique separating signalling equilibrium and that the resulting level of R&D investment is higher than for a full information scenario. Incomplete information leads to a reduced level of welfare in numerical examples. The behaviour described helps to explain the open announcement of R&D activities in the IT-industry. Essay 3: A large and increasing population of programmers is engaged in the development of freely distributed software. Its members receive little direct compensation for their work but instead a novel licensing scheme - copyleft - creates an incentive structure reminiscent of science based on complementary income. We build a model where the occupational choice of programmers determines the quality of programs in the consumer market. A monopolist, supplying the consumer market, has to take into account the impact the free software has on the market. When software implementation costs are low the monopolist will accept the presence of the copyleft program in the market. Our model explains the simultaneous presence of commercial and free copylefted programs in the market and also why there may not exist commercial alternatives to copyleft programs.
  • Kivipuro, Suvi (2001)
    This essay aims at providing a framework for evaluating the desirability of stronger intellectual property rights in developing countries. Instead of assuming that product imitation in the developing countries happens through observation and reverse engineering, the emphasis is on active technology transfer. Foreign direct investment and technology licensing are evaluated here in a unified outline to find out the growth effect of intellectual property protection regime change. The main sources are articles by E. L.-C. Lai (1998) and G. Yang and K. Maskus (2001). By assumption the model consists of two countries, North and South, and all innovations are carried out in North. Innovative Northern companies choose to outsource production to South to gain from lower production costs. Due to inexistent or weak intellectual property protection the Northern foreign direct investment or licensing venture faces the threat of imitation. Choosing licensing allows innovators to combat the problem with costly licensing contracts. Yet naturally both types of technology transfer would benefit from better intellectual property protection and less imitation. If technology transfer to South occurs either through licensing or foreign direct investment, South should strengthen its intellectual property rights protection, as both countries will gain. Improved protection curbs the imitation activity and thus encourages more Northern companies to invest in South. As resources are freed in North and the expected return from innovations rises, new incentives to innovate emerge. Increased innovation corresponds to economic growth not only in North but also in South via technology transfer. Southern workers learn while employed by the multinational enterprises or licensees. The resulting knowledge spillovers support worldwide gain from better intellectual property protection.
  • Tupasela, Aaro (2000)
    This paper proposes to discuss the shortcomings of three popular science and technology study models - the Triple Helix, Mode 2 and Entrepreneurial Science. It also focuses on the development of supra-national and national science and technology policies and the role they have played in the commercialization of university research. The three models and innovation policies are analyzed through a case study of Helsinki University Licensing Ltd. (HUL), a technology transfer company founded in 1992 by the University of Helsinki and the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (Sitra). The purpose of the company is to patent and license innovations developed at the University of Helsinki. The paper identifies contradictions that emerge in the patenting of research developed at the University of Helsinki, Finland's largest public research university. It deploys the concepts of technological systems, diffusion of innovations and national ideologies to problematize the ubiquity of current models and policies. The study draws on interview material, policy documents, HUL documents, patenting statistics and newspaper articles. These sources are used to argue that the three models and current innovation policy lack a critical approach in looking at the technological development of the biosciences in Finland. Innovation policies are analyzed on the supra-national and national levels and compared to the strategies that have been adopted at the University of Helsinki during the 1990s. The assumptions set forth by the models are critiqued in light of obstacles HUL has encountered with patenting and licensing. The study concludes that current innovation policies are contradictory because they encourage the broad diffusion of university research and its patenting at the same time. The patenting of research confers monopoly rights over innovations and is an effective tool for the private industry to minimize risk. At the same time, however, competition and the dissemination of information are compromised. The role of individual actors is identified as an important component of the innovation process in Finland and the success of HUL. Professional know-how is a key factor in attracting business from researchers. Finally, the models are too descriptive and neglect to account for variation among different technological systems.
  • Cadillo Chandler, Dhanay María (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Economics and Society – 273
    The Role of Patents in the Latin American Development: ‘Models of Protection’ of pharmaceutical patents and access to medicines in Brazil, Chile and Venezuela Access to medicines, pharmaceutical patents, and public health are topics often addressed in the news. On the one hand, there is an imperative need to tackle pressing health concerns, and on the other hand, it is also important to provide adequate incentives to carry out research and development. Even though common health concerns exist within the developing world, each country has a different set of needs. The approach to solve or the strategies to balance intellectual property rights and access to medicines vary at large. Latin American countries i.e. Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, even though geographically located in the same continent, deal with the challenges in a different and unique manner. Before the TRIPS Agreement countries had the freedom to decide on whether or not to grant patent protection for medicines. Thus, most of the developing and least developed countries, now WTO member countries, did not provide patent protection for pharmaceuticals because they feared that patent protection would increase the price of pharmaceuticals, and hence, become an obstacle for the access to medicines. On the one hand, patent protection represents an incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to carry out R&D for new and needed drugs. But on the other hand, patents, as the system of financing R&D, has been regarded as a flawed system due to the high costs transferred to the finalised product (medicine) thus deterring access to medicines. Patent protection allows the inventor to prevent others from making use, selling, producing or distributing the invention without his consent for a period of no less than 20 years. Moreover, these rights conferred by the patent grant seem to constitute the pharmaceutical industry’s incentive to recoup the high costs associated with the R&D of a new drug. This book reviews the strategies or models of protection used in Brazil, Chile and Venezuela to balance both intellectual property rights (pharmaceutical patents) and access to medicines. Each country seems to have shaped their policies in accordance with their national priorities, whether these are motivated by health, political or commercial issues. This study portrays the different approaches followed in different national contexts despite all three having to implement the minimum standards of intellectual property protection according to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). The outcome of the comparison of the policy implementations and the patterns followed by each of the analysed countries is without a doubt the main contribution of this academic study.